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June 2018 (Vol. 3 Issue 4)

Forget coffee if you’ve slept badly three nights in a row
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

Forget coffee if you’ve slept badly three nights in a row image

You get a bad night’s sleep, so you have a coffee in the morning. The same happens the next night, and then the night after that…but the stimulating effects of the coffee wear off after that third night of lost sleep.

Scientists have discovered that caffeine loses its powers to give us that necessary jolt if we sleep for less than five hours a night on three consecutive nights. In other words, don’t bother drinking coffee after the third night of poor sleeping: it won’t make any difference.

Coffee “significantly improves” our performance levels if we haven’t slept well for two nights in a row, say scientists at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. But the benefits of consuming two 200 mg shots of caffeine a day don’t have any effect come the third day.

They discovered caffeine’s diminishing benefits when they tested it on a group of 48 volunteers, whose sleep was restricted to just five hours each night for five consecutive nights. They were then given the two shots of caffeine or a placebo (sugar pill), and their performance and alertness was measured afterwards.


References

(Source: Proceedings of the 30th anniversary meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, June 13, 2016)

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